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Episode #088 – Plugged In At The LA Auto Show

Episode #088 – Plugged In At The LA Auto Show

 
 
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The American automotive market is more about trucks and utilities than ever before. Sam and Dan look at a couple of bookends with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and Ford EcoSport. GM CEO Mary Barra makes the tough call to end production at five factories. Meanwhile at the 2018 LA Auto Show, there was lots of new product many of them with plugs. Some highlights include the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, 2020 Mazda3, 2020 Porsche 911, Audi e-Tron GT concept and the new Kia Soul with a battery that should go 250 miles or so. Links Episode #011 – Sam […]


Episode #087 – Carlos In The Clink, Driving In Winter and Charging Follies

Episode #087 – Carlos In The Clink, Driving In Winter and Charging Follies

 
 
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This week Sam drives the new Volkswagen Jetta and Dan spends time with the Acura RDX and VW Golf Sportwagen. Out in the real world, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Chairman of Nissan is arrested for alleged financial malfeasance and the future of the Alliance is in doubt. With snow and ice now on the road, it’s time again to think about winter tires. Land Rover unveils the second-generation Evoque with electrified powertrains and Tesla owners are experiencing Supercharger issues. Sam also interviews Pete Rander and Brett Browning of Argo AI. Links Carlos Ghosn Arrested Winter Tires 2020 Land […]


Episode #086 – Complete with sirens from Magic City

Episode #086 – Complete with sirens from Magic City

 
 
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This time out, Sam is recording from a hotel room in Miami as we discuss the Volvo XC40 T5 and its goofy shifter design, the Audi Q5 and its surprisingly fast handwriting recognition and the marvelous Kia Stinger. Subscriptions may or may not be the future of car buying, assuming car buying even has a future in an age of automated vehicles. Faraday almost certainly has no Future and Walmart joins Ford’s automated delivery test program. Links 2019 Volvo XC50 T5 Momentum Cadillac closes the Book on subscriptions for now Probably no future for Faraday Walmart and Ford team up […]


Episode #085 – What is a Utility Vehicle Anyway?

Episode #085 – What is a Utility Vehicle Anyway?

 
 
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After a week off, we have an extended length show to make up for it. Dan drives a very expensive Ford F-150 and a sportier Acura MDX A-Spec. Sam goes from the not really a crossover Toyota C-HR to the ginormous Genesis G90. Then we dive into some discussion of sales and earnings, GM’s call for a national EV mandate in response to Trump administration moves to freeze fuel economy standards and cost cutting moves while profits are still reasonably healthy.  We also discuss Consumer Reports reliability data and answer listener questions including the Hyundai pickup truck. Links Toyota C-HR  […]


Episode #084 -All-in on In-Car Recording

Episode #084 -All-in on In-Car Recording

 
 
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This week, Sam and Dan are both commuting, Dan from his office near Boston and Sam heading back to SFO from the Verge Transport Conference in Oakland. Sam is on his second consecutive battery electric car, driving the 2018 BMW i3S after leaving the Hyundai Ioniq Electric behind in Detroit. Meanwhile Dan joins the party from the 2019 Lexus LS500 after transitioning from the 2019 Subaru Forester. In the news, the guys discuss the latest assessment from Munro and Associates about how Tesla is building the Model 3 and Dan opines on advertising changes at Ford. At the end of […]


Episode #083 – Race On Tony Swan

Episode #083 – Race On Tony Swan

 
 
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This week Sam drives the latest Mazda6 which is still his favorite midsize sedan while Dan samples the Hyundai Kona and Toyota Sienna with all-wheel-drive. As the auto industry changes, Mercedes-Benz considers paring down niche models while GM and Honda team up on automated driving and mobility. Finally, we bid farewell to Tony Swan. Links The Passing of Tony Swan Mercedes-Benz prepares to cut low volume models GM and Honda team on Automated Driving`


Episode #082 – Coupes, Convertibles, Chargers and Separate Development

Episode #082 – Coupes, Convertibles, Chargers and Separate Development

 
 
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This week, Brianna Wu returns to the show to talk about her Porsche Cayman, Sam drives 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate and Dan shares his feelings on the Ford Mustang Convertible. Lucid follows up on their big Saudi funding round with a deal with Electrify America to provide charging for the upcoming Air electric sedan. The crew also discusses the lack of togetherness between BMW and Toyota in developing the new Z4 and Supra. Links Lucid teams up with Electrify America BMW and Toyota mostly stop talking  


Episode #081 – New Premium SUVs Including an Electric Audi

Episode #081 – New Premium SUVs Including an Electric Audi

 
 
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After a hectic week of travel for Sam while Dan was making an emergency commercial, the guys are back with a bunch of vehicles they’ve driven. Sam spent time with the BMW 230i and Kia Rio EX while Dan was in the BMW X2 and the VW Beetle convertible for a last hurrah before it rolls off into the sunset. Sam also drove the Cadillac XT4 and Lincoln Nautilus and attended the global reveal of the Audi E-Tron Quattro. Also J Mays emerges from retirement to design something new. Links 2019 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive 2019 Cadillac XT4 First Drive […]


Episode #080 – SUV Extremes, Hybrid Hauling, Mercedes Goes Electric and We Lose Focus

Episode #080 – SUV Extremes, Hybrid Hauling, Mercedes Goes Electric and We Lose Focus

 
 
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Since the last regular episode, Sam has been in the new Jeep Wrangler with a 48V mild hybrid and a Nissan Kicks. Meanwhile Dan has been hauling stuff in the Hyundai Ioniq and picks up the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Mercedes-Benz revealed the new EQC this week and the Ford Focus Active isn’t coming to America. Links Navigant Research webinar on the Data Driving Automated Vehicles The Data Driving Automated Vehicles white paper 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2.0T  2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Trade Ware Kills Focus Active for America  


Episode #079 – Larry Burns Talks About Autonomy

Episode #079 – Larry Burns Talks About Autonomy

 
 
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In this special episode of Wheel Bearings, Sam sits down with Larry Burns, retired SVP of R&D and Strategic Planning at General Motors to talk about his new book, Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World. Since retiring from GM in 2009, Burns has been an educator and consultant including working with the Google Self-driving car project and Waymo since 2011. The book is a great read for anyone interested in learning more the history of the DARPA Grand Challenge and development of automated vehicles in the past decade.